IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Price Stability as a Target for Monetary Policy: Defining and Maintaining Price Stability

  • Svensson, Lars E O

This paper discusses how price stability can be defined and how price stability can be maintained in practice. Some lessons for the Eurosystem are also considered. With regard to defining price stability, the choice between price-level stability and low (including zero) inflation and the decisions about the price index, the quantitative target and the role of output stabilization are examined. With regard to maintaining price stability, three main alternatives are considered, namely commitment to a simple instrument rule (like a Taylor rule), forecast targeting (like inflation-forecast targeting) and intermediate targeting (like money-growth targeting). A simple instrument rule does not provide a substitute for a systematic framework for monetary policy decisions. Such a framework is instead provided by forecast targeting. Forecast targeting can incorporate judgemental adjustments, extra-model information, and different indicators (including indicators of "risks to price stability"). By extending mean }forecast targeting to distribution forecast targeting, nonlinearity, nonadditive uncertainty and model uncertainty can be incorporated. Eurosystem arguments in favor of its money-growth indicator and against inflation-forecast targeting are scrutinized and found unconvincing.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: CEPR Discussion Papers are free to download for our researchers, subscribers and members. If you fall into one of these categories but have trouble downloading our papers, please contact us at

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 2196.

in new window

Date of creation: Aug 1999
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:2196
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Centre for Economic Policy Research, 77 Bastwick Street, London EC1V 3PZ.

Phone: 44 - 20 - 7183 8801
Fax: 44 - 20 - 7183 8820

Order Information: Email:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Clarida, R. & Gertler, M., 1996. "How the Bundesbank Conducts Monetary Policy," Working Papers 96-14, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  2. Rudebusch, Glenn D & Svensson, Lars E O, 1998. "Policy Rules for Inflation Targeting," CEPR Discussion Papers 1999, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Svensson, Lars E O, 1999. "Does the P* Model Provide Any Rationale for Monetary Targeting?," CEPR Discussion Papers 2198, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Volker Wieland, . "Monetary Policy and Uncertainty about the Natural Unemployment Rate," Computing in Economics and Finance 1997 11, Society for Computational Economics.
  5. Levine, Paul L, 1991. "Should Rules be Simple?," CEPR Discussion Papers 515, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Söderström, Ulf, 1999. "Should central banks be more aggressive?," Working Paper Series 84, Sveriges Riksbank (Central Bank of Sweden).
  7. Glenn D. Rudebusch, 1999. "Is the Fed too timid? Monetary policy in an uncertain world," Working Papers in Applied Economic Theory 99-05, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  8. Karl-Heinz Tödter & Hans-Eggert Reimers, 1994. "P-Star as a link between money and prices in Germany," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 130(2), pages 273-289, June.
  9. Nicoletta Batini & Andrew Haldane, 1999. "Forward-Looking Rules for Monetary Policy," NBER Chapters, in: Monetary Policy Rules, pages 157-202 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Athanasios Orphanides, 1998. "Monetary policy evaluation with noisy information," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1998-50, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  11. John C. Williams, 1999. "Simple rules for monetary policy," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1999-12, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  12. Coenen, Günter & Orphanides, Athanasios & Wieland, Volker, 2003. "Price Stability and Monetary Policy Effectiveness when Nominal Interest Rates are Bounded at Zero," CEPR Discussion Papers 3892, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. Frank Smets, 1998. "Output gap uncertainty: does it matter for the Taylor rule?," BIS Working Papers 60, Bank for International Settlements.
  14. Guy Debelle & Douglas Laxton, 1997. "Is the Phillips Curve Really a Curve? Some Evidence for Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 44(2), pages 249-282, June.
  15. Lars E O Svensson, 1996. "Inflation Forecast Targeting: Implementing and Monitoring Inflation Targets," Bank of England working papers 56, Bank of England.
  16. Alexander L. Wolman, 1998. "Staggered price setting and the zero bound on nominal interest rates," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue Fall, pages 1-24.
  17. Arturo Estrella & Frederic Mishkin, 1998. "Rethinking the role of NAIRU in monetary policy: implications of model formulation and uncertainty," Research Paper 9806, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  18. Ben S. Bernanke & Ilian Mihov, 1996. "What Does the Bundesbank Target?," NBER Working Papers 5764, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Söderström, Ulf, 1999. "Monetary policy with uncertain parameters," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 308, Stockholm School of Economics.
  20. Douglas Laxton & Peter B. Clark & David Rose, 1995. "Asymmetry in the U.S. Output-Inflation Nexus; Issues and Evidence," IMF Working Papers 95/76, International Monetary Fund.
  21. Lars E.O. Svensson, 1999. "Monetary Policy Issues for the Eurosystem," NBER Working Papers 7177, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Glenn D. Rudebusch & Lars E. O. Svensson, 1999. "Eurosystem monetary targeting: lessons from U.S. data," Working Paper Series 99-13, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  23. Andrew Levin & Volker Wieland & John C. Williams, 1998. "Robustness of Simple Monetary Policy Rules under Model Uncertainty," NBER Working Papers 6570, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. Svensson, Lars E. O., 1998. "Inflation targeting as a monetary policy rule," CFS Working Paper Series 1998/16, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
  25. McCallum, Bennett T., 1999. "Issues in the design of monetary policy rules," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 23, pages 1483-1530 Elsevier.
  26. P Clark & D Laxton, 1997. "Phillips Curves," CEP Discussion Papers dp0344, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  27. Kareken, John H & Muench, Thomas & Wallace, Neil, 1973. "Optimal Open Market Strategy: The Use of Information Variables," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 63(1), pages 156-72, March.
  28. Mervyn King, 1994. "Monetary policy in the UK," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 15(3), pages 109-28, August.
  29. Wieland, Volker, 1999. "Monetary policy, parameter uncertainty and optimal learning," ZEI Working Papers B 09-1999, University of Bonn, ZEI - Center for European Integration Studies.
  30. Wolman, Alexander L, 2005. "Real Implications of the Zero Bound on Nominal Interest Rates," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 37(2), pages 273-96, April.
  31. Estrella, Arturo & Mishkin, Frederic S., 1997. "Is there a role for monetary aggregates in the conduct of monetary policy?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 279-304, October.
  32. Hallman, Jeffrey J & Porter, Richard D & Small, David H, 1991. "Is the Price Level Tied to the M2 Monetary Aggregate in the Long Run?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(4), pages 841-58, September.
  33. Robert E. Hall, 1984. "Monetary strategy with an elastic price standard," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 137-167.
  34. Söderlind, Paul, 1998. "Solution and Estimation of RE Macromodels with Optimal Policy," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 256, Stockholm School of Economics.
  35. Taylor, John B., 1998. "The Robustness and Efficiency of Monetary Policy Rules as Guidelines for Interest Rate Setting by the European Central Bank," Seminar Papers 649, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  36. Lars E. O. Svensson, 1997. "Inflation Targeting: Some Extensions," NBER Working Papers 5962, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  37. Stephen G. Cecchetti, 1997. "Central Bank Policy Rules: Conceptual Issues and Practical Considerations," NBER Working Papers 6306, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  38. McCallum, B.T. & Nelson, E., 1998. "Nominal Income Targeting in an Open-Economy Optimizing Model," Papers 644, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  39. Pearlman, Joseph G., 1992. "Reputational and nonreputational policies under partial information," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 339-357, April.
  40. Peter A. Tinsley, 1975. "On proximate exploitation of intermediate information in macroeconomic forecasting," Special Studies Papers 59, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  41. Svensson, L-E-O, 1996. "Price Level Targeting vs Inflation Targeting : A free Lunch?," Papers 614, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  42. Gert Peersman & Frank Smets, 1999. "Uncertainty and the Taylor rule in a simple model of the Euro-area economy," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  43. LeRoy, Stephen F & Waud, Roger N, 1977. "Applications of the Kalman Filter in Short-Run Monetary Control," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 18(1), pages 195-207, February.
  44. repec:sae:niesru:v:167:y::i:1:p:106-112 is not listed on IDEAS
  45. Pearlman, Joseph & Currie, David & Levine, Paul, 1986. "Rational expectations models with partial information," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 90-105, April.
  46. Stephen G. Cecchetti, 1995. "Inflation Indicators and Inflation Policy," NBER Working Papers 5161, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  47. von Hagen, J, 1995. "Inflation and Monetary Targeting in Germany," Papers 03, American Institute for Contemporary German Studies-.
  48. John H. Kalchbrenner & Peter A. Tinsley, 1976. "On the use of optimal control in the design of monetary policy," Special Studies Papers 76, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  49. Laubach, T. & Posen, A.S., 1997. "Disciplined Discretion: Monetary Targeting in Germany and Switzerland," Princeton Essays in International Economics 206, International Economics Section, Departement of Economics Princeton University,.
  50. King, Mervyn, 1997. "Changes in UK monetary policy: Rules and discretion in practice," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 81-97, June.
  51. Alexei Onatski & James H. Stock, 1999. "Robust monetary policy under model uncertainty in a small model of the U.S. economy," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  52. Taylor, J.B., 1998. "The Robustness and Efficiency of Monetary Policy Rules as Guidelines for Interest Rate Setting by European Central Bank," Papers 649, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  53. Michael T. Kiley, 1998. "Monetary policy under neoclassical and New-Keynesian Phillips Curves, with an application to price level and inflation targeting," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1998-27, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  54. George A. Akerlof & William R. Dickens & George L. Perry, 1996. "The Macroeconomics of Low Inflation," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 27(1), pages 1-76.
  55. Backus, David & Driffill, John, 1986. "The Consistency of Optimal Policy in Stochastic Rational Expectations Models," CEPR Discussion Papers 124, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  56. Reifschneider, David L. & Stockton, David J. & Wilcox, David W., 1997. "Econometric models and the monetary policy process," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 1-37, December.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:2196. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.